Over one lakh posts related to the railways' safety mechanism were vacant as of April 2017, the government informed Parliament today. In written reply to a question in the Lok Sabha, Minister of State for Railways Rajen Gohain said that efforts were being made to fill up the vacant posts expeditiously. "The number of posts lying vacant in safety cadres over all zonal railways is 1,28,942 as of April 2017.
The number of vacant posts of all loco running categories including drivers is 17,457," the minister said. The minister further stated that in the past five years, a total of 50,463 candidates had been empanelled for the post of assistant loco pilot through railway recruitment boards. Commenting on the long-drawn-out process of recruitments in the transport behemoth, Gohain said that every stage of a written exam takes around three-four months which includes issue of notices to the candidates requiring about three weeks. The complete recruitment process, Gohain said, takes one-and-a-half to two years. The railways has witnessed a spate of accidents in the recent past. A few days ago, the Railway Board asked senior officials to work out a plan to reduce the time taken for recruitment from two years to six months.
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